Railtrack, the subject of one of the Government’s most controversial
privatisations, has replaced its incumbent public affairs agency GJW
with Lowe Bell Political.
The company, which looks set to face much stiffer regulation in the
event of a Labour Government, appointed Lowe Bell Political last week
after a competitive pitch against several other agencies, including the
GJW had been providing strategic counsel to Railtrack since last April,
when both it and Matrix were drafted in by Financial Dynamics to
support its work for the company. Matrix ceased working for Railtrack in
Neal Lawson, deputy managing director of Lowe Bell Political and former
aide to Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown, said the agency’s success may
have stemmed from its strong Labour team which also includes Ben Lucas,
formerly in Shadow Home Secretary Jack Straw’s office.
GJW director Paul Barnes said the agency’s loss may have resulted from
the absence of senior members of its Labour team from the Railtrack
pitch, due to conflict of interest issues. The agency is currently
working on the West Coast mainline railway campaign.
Simon Miller, Railtrack’s public affairs manager, said he had been
impressed by Lowe Bell’s political judgement and ‘the analysis of the
political climate in which a company is placed’. He would not confirm
why GJW was ousted but said he was happy with the quality of the